Change is hard. It is harder at a later stage. A tree is tough to be bent. But, people are not trees. We don’t root at one place for life and stay there forever. We move. We learn. We adapt to grow and survive. Then changing should become easy and adapting to change easier. But that’s not what we see.
Should learning and experience make you softer by the day or harder everyday? What is better? Being soft on outside and hard on inside or the other way? What if you are softer all around? Being tough is a lot different than being rigid. Tough to persevere and add value every time you show-up is required. Rigid to stay rooted in your prejudice and dispositions irrespective of newly discovered realities might be fatal at times.
In corporations with established business lines, customer segments and the product lines, it is hard to make changes to practices that are fetching results. Why fix anything if it is not broken? A good logic to stay rigid and rooted. But, every day is a new day with new dynamics of life. Products and users also change. Their needs and utility values diminish. New technology and players challenge the status-quo and create new opportunities. There’s always someone waiting to take your pie out of the customers you are serving. Mostly with better, cheaper and novel solutions. Staying relevant and continuing to be significant to the customers you server is your responsibility. This means the need for continuous change. Something that happens subtly enough to keep it in plain sight but make it remarkable always.
When transformation as a word creates unrest in the minds of established gurus, you have to adopt a subtle change process. Don’t use the word. Show the value of change through continuous demonstration and expansion of scope of your experiment. Show and tell appeals more than preaching. Go out and let the industry peers and influencers notice the value of the change you are bringing. Let the experts and journals write and speak about your innovation and its impact. Most of the time, the words of people who your sponsors trust, makes it easy for them to accept what you built. Just like a tough parent waiting for teacher’s appreciation to accept that their kid is genius, you need help of others to push your innovation. Shamelessly take the help. Be focused on the value you create. Distribute your solution freely enough for people to willingly use and provide you feedback. This helps in strengthening the solution and builds confidence in you to pitch it well for your targeted audience to buy-in.
When transformation is a bad word, make small and continuous changes in plain-sight your friend. Don’t stop. Find ways to make it meaningful till it is accepted and appreciated.